Author: Linda

20 Jul 2019

Shaved Brusssel Sprout Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

What says summer better than a light and fresh lemon vinaigrette salad?  One with blueberries it…YUM!!  The vinaigrette is easy to prepare ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to put your salad together.  Just pour over the top and toss.  This would also be delicious with dried cranberries in place of the blueberries but tis the season to use those fresh berries.  Also, the pecans could be swapped out for walnuts or almonds, if you’d prefer.

To make the vinaigrette, I used an immersion blender.  These are really handy gadgets for making dressings/vinaigrettes but I realize not everyone has one.  A blender or food processor will work just fine.

 

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 1 – 10 oz package shaved Brussel sprouts
  • ½ small red onion, chopped
  • ¾-1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup feta cheese (reserve a small amount for sprinkling on top)
  • ½-1 cup blueberries
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds (optional)

Lemon Basil Vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1 Tbsp Primal mayo
  • 1 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
  • ½ lemon, juiced (2 Tbsp)
  • 1 tsp jarred minced garlic (or garlic powder)
  • 5 sprigs of fresh basil (more or less based on preference)
  • 1-2 tsp birch xylitol sweetener or honey (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a small blender.  Pulse until basil is chopped and vinaigrette is smooth and creamy.
  2. Add all the salad ingredients to a large salad bowl.  Toss together.
  3. Pour the vinaigrette over the top and mix just until the ingredients are evenly coated.
  4. Top with the reserved feta cheese and a few extra blueberries for a pretty presentation.
12 Jul 2019

Chocolate Avocado Banana Pudding

This pudding is rich, creamy, delicious and so NUTRITIOUS!!  It’s full of fiber, protein, healthy fats and antioxidants.  Topped with fresh organic berries and you really have it going on!  I prefer to serve mine as a dessert but it is healthy enough to eat for breakfast!! This makes approximately 3-4 servings.  Cover and refrigerate.  I think it will keep a few days in the fridge but it doesn’t last that long in my house so I’m not completely sure on that!!     

 

Ingredients:  3-4 servings

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp raw organic cacao powder
  • 1-1½ cup coconut, almond or pea protein milk (start with 1 cup and add more if needed)
  • 1 large scoop of whey or pea protein powder
  • xylitol or stevia to taste (or sweetener of choice)
  • pinch of Himalayan salt (optional)
  • 1-2 dashes of cinnamon
  • berries, unsweetened coconut flakes, hemp seeds or cacao nibs (for toppings)

 

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor.  (You could also use a blender or hand mixer.)
  2. Mix until smooth and creamy.  Scrap sides of container halfway between blending.
  3.  Serve in individual ramekins and add your favorite toppings.
02 Jul 2019

Mexican Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables

Let me begin by saying, zucchini and carrots are not typically “Mexican-style” veggies, but they taste delicious in this dish!  In other words, there are no rules.  Add whatever floats your boat.  Zucchini is abundant this time of year, so why not?  I had a ton of carrots in my fridge, so why not?  You get the picture.  

Also, I was making chicken thighs to serve for my protein so I used the same Mexican spices on the chicken. This is a great way to tie your meal together.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 medium sized zucchini, sliced ¼” thick
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2-3 whole carrots, sliced
  • 2-3 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa (I used tri-color)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (to prepare quinoa)
  • 1 can organic black beans
  • 1-1½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lime (optional)
  • sliced avocado (optional) 

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place onion, pepper, carrots, zucchini and tomatoes on a foil lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, season with half of the spices and gently toss.  Roast for 20-25 minutes or just until tender.
  3. While vegetables are roasting, prepare quinoa according to package directions.  I used the chicken broth as the liquid but you can also use water.
  4. When quinoa is tender, add the black beans and the remaining seasonings.  Mix to combine and warm briefly if needed.
  5. Add the roasted vegetables and quinoa to a large bowl and gently fold together.
  6. Squeeze the juice of lime over the top for some freshness.
  7. Serve and garnish with sliced avocado and fresh cilantro.

 

26 Jun 2019

Pork Sausage Sweet Potato Hash

I love a hearty and healthy hash!  They’re filling, flavorful and extremely easy to adjust based on individual likes and what you might have in your fridge.  I used a seasoned pork sausage I bought at the farmers market but feel free to use any form of ground meat you prefer.  I also love topping my hash dishes with a fried egg, but if that is not something you’re into, simply bypass that step.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 lb pork sausage
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cubed and roasted
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2-3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • ¾ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 pepper
  • eggs, fried
  • feta cheese (optional)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425.  Line a sheet pan with foil and spray with coconut oil or drizzle sweet potatoes with a little olive oil.  Season with salt, pepper and some smoked paprika.  Roast for 15-20 minutes depending on the size of your sweet potato cubes.
  2. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat and add the coconut oil.  Add pork sausage and break apart.  Add the green pepper and the onion.  Season with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, paprika, salt and pepper.  Cook on medium heat until vegetables become tender and the pork sausage is browned.
  3.  Remove from heat and set aside or put in a warm oven to keep until ready to plate.
  4. Heat a frying pan and cook the number of eggs needed.
  5. To serve, place a serving of the hash on a plate, top with a fried egg, feta cheese and any other desired toppings.

11 Jun 2019

Coconut Tahini and Matcha Bites

This recipe adds a little twist to your typical energy balls.  It has both coconut butter and tahini, two types of seeds, matcha and protein powder to boot.   If you’re not familiar with matcha powder, it is green tea leaves ground into a concentrated powder, making it packed with antioxidants.  Add that along with the protein, healthy fats (saturated as well as omega 3’s) and fiber, and you’ve got yourself some banging little bites full of health benefits!

 

Ingredients (makes 24 balls)

  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup coconut butter
  • 2 tablespoons protein powder
  • 4-5 dates, pitt removed
  • 3 tablespoons cacao nibs
  • 1-2 teaspoons matcha powder (preferably ceremonial and organic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2-3 tablespoons of coconut milk (for adjusting thickness)

 

Directions

  1. In a food processor, add dates, coconut butter, tahini and shredded coconut.  Blend or pulse until well combined.  Add remaining ingredients except coconut milk.  Continue to blend until mixture forms a thick paste and can be formed into balls.
  2. If mixture is too thick, add small amounts of coconut milk during the blending.  If mixture is too thin, add more almond flour or protein powder.
  3. Scoop out portion sizes (I use a small scooper) and arrange on parchment-lined baking sheet.
  4. Place in the freezer or refrigerator to firm up.  Once firm, they can be transferred into a storage container.
  5. For best results, store in freezer or refrigerator.  If storing in freezer, allow to thaw about 5 minutes before enjoying.
16 May 2019

Chocolate Power Balls

Power balls are a tasty mouthful when you’re craving something sweet but are trying to stay clear of sugary treats.  With the combination of protein powder, nuts and coconut, they can serve as a healthy little snack.  But be forewarned, it is very easy to overindulge in these little guys!

There are so many different variations of power balls which makes it a perfect opportunity to mix and match according to what you have in your pantry.  I will usually start with the same foundational ingredients and then start adding whatever I have on hand and they always turn out yummy.  With that being said, I had to somehow put something down in writing in order to post this recipe but there is no need to be locked into these ingredients.  The key is getting the right consistency to be able to roll the mixture into balls.  This is easy to do at any stage of the process by simply adding more dry ingredients or a little extra liquid. 

Note:  This does make a big batch, so I will usually keep half in the refrigerate and the other half in the freezer for later.  

 

Ingredients (makes about 24 large balls)

  • 10-12 dates, softened and pitted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1½ cups any combination of nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews)
  • 1/2 cup almond butter or other nut butter (no sugar or oil added)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup date water or other liquid of choice (may need more if mixture is too dry)
  • 1/2 cup collagen powder and/or quality protein powder (could substitute with flaxseed meal)
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds/chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1/4-1/2 cup cacao nibs
  • small amount of coconut oil for rolling

 

Directions

  1. To soften dates, place in a microwave safe bowl and cover with water.  Microwave for 2 minutes and allow to cool slightly.  Remove the pits and reserve the water for later use.
  2. Add nuts, dates, coconut flakes and 1/4 cup date water to a food processor.  Process on high until mixture is finely chopped and begins to form a paste.  You can continue to mix in the processor or transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add almond butter, vanilla, coconut oil and salt.  Mix well.
  4. Add protein powder, hemp seeds, and cacao powder.  Mix until well combined.
  5. The mixture should be somewhat sticky but also thick enough to roll into balls.  If too crumbly, add a small amount of liquid (water, almond milk).  If not thick enough or too sticky, add a small amount of collagen powder, hemp seeds.
  6. Mix in the cacao nibs
  7. Cover bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or until mixture can more easily be formed into balls.
  8. To roll into balls, have some coconut oil or coconut spray handy.  Spread a small amount on your hands and in a small scooper or spoon (this is the messy part).
  9. Fill the scooper with desired amount and roll between palms of hand.  Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
  10. Continue this process until all the balls are made.  Put the sheet pan in freezer for 10 minutes so the balls are easier to handle.
  11. Place protein balls in a container and refrigerate (I usually put half in the freezer for later).
10 May 2019

Pickled Red Onions

I love having a jar or two of pickled red onions in my refrigerator.  A lovely pink condiment that will add extra crunch and tanginess to any salad, burger or taco!  Be creative and change up the spices to suit your fancy.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup ACV
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp peppercorns
  • ½-1 tbsp xylitol or other sugar substitute (swerve, erythritol)
  • 1 tsp oregano

 

Directions:

  1. Peel and thinly slice the onion.  I prefer half moon slices but you could also slice into full rings.
  2. Add onion, garlic, peppercorns and oregano to a mixing bowl.
  3. In a small saucepan, bring vinegars, water, salt and sweetener to a light boil over medium heat.
  4. Pour hot liquid over the onions and stir.
  5. Allow to sit on the counter for about 1 hour.  Gently stir several times throughout the hour.
  6. Transfer onions to a glass jar (I used two smaller jars).
  7. Store in the refrigerator.  They will keep nicely for several weeks.

 

 

24 Apr 2019

Easy Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Cookies

As you may have noticed, these carrot cake cookies are gluten-free but not grain-free.  Normally all my recipes are both but I decided to add some gluten-free oatmeal for a little extra texture.  Therefore, they are technically not grain-free but could easily be converted by omitting the oats and adding additional almond  flour.  I honestly didn’t even use exact measurements.  That’s how easy these are! Look for a nice cookie dough consistency that’s not too stiff.  Do a trial run with just a few cookies to get the cookie texture you’re looking for.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 3 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oatmeal
  • 3 Tbsp arrowroot flour
  • 1-2 scoops collagen/vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 t Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Swerve (or other approved sugar)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup Lily chocolate chips (these are sugar-free, sweetened with stevia)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients and whisk together.
  3. Add eggs, oil, vanilla, sugar and maple syrup.  Mix with a large spoon until well blended.
  4. Add carrots, walnuts and chocolate chips.  Fold into batter until evenly incorporated.
  5. Line a baking sheet with a silicone pad or parchment paper.  Scoop batter onto baking sheet.  Do not flatten.
  6. Bake for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Allow to sit on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.
13 Apr 2019

Grain-Free Rosemary Bread

Have you been rockin’ a grain-free, low carb lifestyle but find yourself craving the feel of some bread in your mouth?  Well this bread will satisfy that craving and keep you on track with your healthy eating plan!  It’s extremely easy to make and you will not be disappointed.  You can serve this with some seasoned EVOO for dipping, add it to a beautiful cheese board, or just slather a slice with grass-fed butter or nut butter.  Is your mouth watering right now?  Mine is!

I’ve made this bread several times and have been so happy with the results.  I served it warm out of the oven along side a bowl of delicious soup…yum!   Enjoy!!

 

Ingredients:                                                                                      

  • 1/2 c coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp pysillium husk
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1 Tbsp ACV
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  3. Add coconut flour, pysillium husk, baking powder and spices to a mixing bowl and whisk together.
  4. Add the eggs and oil to the dry ingredients.  Beat with a hand mixer just until blended (no longer than 1 minute is needed).
  5. Add the ACV and mix briefly with a spoon. It will look lumpy (1st picture).
  6. Add the boiling water slowly, a little at a time (you may not need the entire ½ cup).  Continue to stir until water is incorporated completely.  Dough will be wet and sticky but smooth (2nd picture).
  7. Place dough onto the parchment paper and form a round shape with your hands.
  8. Score the top with a knife.  Sprinkle with a little rosemary for textural appeal.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and the center is firm to the touch.
01 Apr 2019

Beef Liver with Apples and Onions

 

 

Forgive me for loving liver so much!  I know not everyone is a fan but my hope is that I will convert one person at a time.  For this recipe, the apples add that touch of sweetness that some may need to break through that “I don’t like liver” mentality.  And well, onions and liver just go hand in hand together.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 large Braeburn apples, cubed
  • 1 lb. grass-fed beef livers (I get mine at the local farmer’s market), cut into 2×3″ pieces
  • 1-2 Tbsp ghee
  • 1-2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1 Tbsp Balsamic grand reserve vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee in saucepan.  Add onions and cook on low-medium heat.  Season with salt and pepper according to taste.  Stir frequently and cook for 5-6 minutes or until onions begin to turn a golden brown.
  2. Add apples and cook just until tender.
  3. Transfer onion and apple mixture to a dish.  Keep warm.
  4. Add remaining ghee to the same saucepan and heat over medium heat.  Add the beef liver and cook for approximately 3 minutes or until you see them browning around the edges.  Turn liver pieces over and cook another 2 minutes.  Be careful not to overcook or they will become tough and rubbery.
  5. Place liver on a plate and top with onions and apples.  Yum!!